Flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the two-story building on Lafayette Street in Paterson shortly after 11 p.m.
Officials confirmed that at least one person died, their body was found on the second floor of the home.
Fire spread to two adjacent homes, but residents who live nearby credit quick-acting firefighters for preventing further damage.
"They were very quick because the fire was very out of control and then they come in through the front, through the back, hoses everywhere, fire departments not even from Paterson, a bunch of places, and they got it pretty good in not even 30 minutes," neighbor Ruben Estrella said.
No other injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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